Suspected kidnappers have abducted seven children from an orphanage home in the Abaji Area Council of Abuja.
They also abducted a security guard identified as Joseph Mathew, including two housewives, Rukaiyyat Salihu, and Suwaiba Momoh, during the attack on Saturday.
Police sources said the attackers forcefully entered the orphanage and whisked away their victims to an unknown location.
The names of the abducted orphans were given as Elizabeth Andrew, Dayo Udeh, Jacob Ukpas, Melody Ijeh, Benard Itim, Issac Mathew and Laruba Emmanuel.
The police said they had rescued one of the hostages, adding that efforts were being intensified to free others still in captivity.
A resident of the area, Mohammed Nurudeen, who was shot in the thigh, explained that the gunmen abducted his wife at gunpoint and also shot him.
He said, “The men came at midnight while we were sleeping and forced me to open the door threatening to kill us if we refused to obey their orders. They shot me and took away my wife. I appeal to the security agencies and the government to assist in rescuing my wife unhurt from the gang.”
But the Federal Capital Territory police command said it had launched a rescue operation for the kidnappers, assuring that the victims would be released soon.
The police spokesperson, ASP Maryam Yusuf, said on Sunday, “We are working hard to rescue them and apprehend the perpetrators. Already, we have rescued one of the hostages and we want to assure that the rest would also be rescued unhurt.”
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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has sentenced a retired policeman, Ariwayo Oloyede, aka Oyinbo, to one-year imprisonment for human trafficking.
The ex-police officer was convicted alongside a Burkina Faso-based Nigerian, Christian Owanebi, who was handed seven years jail for the same offence by Justice Abimbola Awogboro.
Justice Awogboro sentenced them after pronouncing them guilty of three counts of conspiracy and human trafficking, preferred against them by the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons.
Delivering judgment on Friday, the judge said the prosecution proved all the charges against the convicts beyond reasonable doubt.
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Don’t interfere with 2023 census, NLC appeal to pro-Biafra group
Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Abia State chapter has appealed to Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), not to interfere in the 2023 census to ensure correct census figure for not only Abia State, but the entire South East.
Speaking during the Abia State stakeholders summit on the 2023 population census, in Umuahia at the weekend, NLC chairman in the state, Obi Igwe said he was making the appeal following what happened during the 2006 census when a pro-Biafra group dissuaded the Igbo from coming out to be counted.
Obi who said this contributed to the low population figure ascribed to Abia, pleaded for such not to be allowed to repeat itself.
He promised to mobilise the 45 trade union affiliates of the NLC in the state to come out and be counted during the exercise.
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Federal Commissioner representing Abia State at the National Population Commission (NPC), Chief Nwabuisi Nwanne said those agitating for Biafra should have no reason to disrupt next year’s census in the state, since it was also in their interest.
“We had a situation in 2006 where a group agitating for Biafra sold a dummy to people in the state not to present themselves to be counted during that year’s census exercise as they were not Nigerians and that impacted negatively on the state population after the exercise as it made Abia to be under-counted.”
Nwanne said the beauty of next year’s exercise was that even if any group was clamouring for a referendum for Biafra, the population the world body would rely on, would be that conducted by Nigeria.
“Even if any group agitating for Biafra is clamouring for a referendum, the population the United Nations will be relying on for such exercise, will be the one conducted by Nigeria and that is why everybody should come out and be counted instead of the other way round.”
Nwanne said to ensure a credible census figure, and for the first time in the history of Nigeria, the Commission was going to do away with paperwork, but will be going digital, anchored on Personal Data Assessment (PDA).
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